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Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy in Pleural Malignancies

Published: September 25, 2017

Primary Outcome Measures

  • Technical feasibility: Number of successful procedures with evaluable CLE-imaging [ Time Frame: cross sectional (1 day) ] Number of successful procedures with evaluable CLE-imaging
  • Procedure-related adverse events [ Time Frame: cross sectional (1 day) ] Number of study-related adverse events
  • To describe and develop visual descriptive image criteria (number of descriptive criteria based on CLE imaging) [ Time Frame: cross sectional (1 day) ] Qualitative description of the number of descriptive criteria based on CLE imaging.

Detailed Description

Novel optical imaging techniques such as confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) have emerged in recent years as techniques that actually enable in vivo real-time microscopic analysis of malignancies of the GI-tract and lung cancer. Through recent advances the probe became small enough to fit through a biopsy needle and can be used during CT-guided and endosonographic guided biopsies (EUS-FNA). Patients with intra-thoracic malignancies often require invasive procedures such as bronchoscopy, thoracoscopy, mediastinoscopy, transthoracic needle aspiration or surgical exploration to obtain a diagnosis. Intra thoracic malignancies encompass lung cancers, thymomas and malignant pleural mesothelioma. These tumors often present with pleural thickening, unilateral pleural effusion, mediastinal enlargement or a peripheral located mass in the lungs. Tissue collection of the suspected pleural thickening is required to assess a diagnosis and differentiate between the tumor types, to classify and to stage in a proper manner. To date, the different biopsy methods, such as CT-guided pleural biopsy, mediastinal biopsy, endosonography and thoracoscopy have their limitations in diagnosing these malignancies. Sampling errors frequently occur resulting in the common histological finding of ‘non-specific pleuritic/fibrosis’, which presents a great uncertainty for clinicians and patients. Novel microscopic imaging techniques such as CLE are capable of real time imaging on a cellular level. Data of CLE in intra-thoracic malignancies are lacking.


Inclusion Criteria
≥18 years of age
Supected intra-thoracic malignancies with pleural involvement and referred for a diagnostic procedure by thoracoscopy, CT guided biopsy or endosonography
Exclusion Criteria
Inability and willingness to provide informed consent
Patients with known allergy for fluorescein or risk factors for an allergic reaction
pregnancy or lactating women
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